Money Facts

Since October 1, 1877, all U.S. currency has been printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which started out as a six person operation using steam powered presses in the basement of the Department of Treasury. Now, 2,300 Bureau employees occupy twenty-five acres of floor space in two Washington, D.C. buildings. The Treasury also operates a satellite printing plant in Ft. Worth, Texas. Currency and stamps are designed, engraved, and printed twenty-four hours a day on thirty high speed presses. In 1990, at a cost of 2.6 cents each, over seven billion notes worth about $82 billion were produced for circulation by the Federal Reserve System. Ninety-five percent will replace unfit notes and five percent will support economic growth. At any one time, $200 million in notes may be in production. Notes produced in 2002 were the $1 note, 41% of production time; the $5 note, 19%; $10 notes, 16%; $20 note, 15%; and $100 note, 9%. No $2 or $50 notes were printed in 2002.

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